My Trunk of Travel Memories: Where have I traveled?

It’s been more than eight years since I traveled outside of my country for the first time. It was around the end of the year 2010. I was 15 when, with lots of doubts, I jumped on an airplane to visit my best friend in England.

Since then travelling as brought me to exciting and surrealist adventures. It has taken me to breathtaking sunsets and captivating landscapes, introduced me to the kindest and more interesting human beings, to their stories… With no doubt I can say that the best adventures in my life have taken place while traveling.

So… a lot has happened since that travel seed was planted inside me in that very first trip. That’s why I thought it would be interesting to create a kind of travel index. From here on, you will find a brief summary of all the trips I’ve done ever since:

Let’s get started! 🙂

England (United Kingdom) – December 2010:

One of the moooooooost frightening and exciting moments of my life! I had battled to convince my parents for almost a year and I was finally there. Sitting alone on an airplane. Flying to England to spend a week with my best friend, her family and friends… A dream come true!

The journey was full of amazing experiences. We explored London and the nearby area of where my friend lived. We shared a pint with her friends in a typical pub and spent New Year’s Eve in one of the craziest home parties I have still ever been… I couldn’t have had more fun!

England (United Kingdom) – July 2011:

After having a blast in December, all I thought of was going back. So for my 16th birthday, the only thing I asked my parents was to let me go back to England. At the end, after being really insisting, they had no more option but to let me go.

This time, I spent 3 weeks with my friend Danielle. In that trip we revisited London and explored the beautiful city of Cambridge.  We had dinner with her friends, went to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the cinema… It was again a great experience!

Road-trip around Italy and Vatican City – Easter Holidays 2012:

My very first trip to my extremely beloved Italy. Of course, it had to be an amazingly great experience! Padova, Venice, Pisa, Asisi, Florence, Rome and the Vatican City… What a end-of-year school trip!

The overall experience was very captivating. Lots of new places to discover, beautiful Renaissance art, tasty food and also some hidden gems in the cities we explored.

Brussels (Belgium) – December 2012:

Four friends, four days and one of the craziest experiences of my whole travel life; I was not lying when I said the best adventures of my life have taken place while travelling…

Some weeks before the trip, I heard about Couchsurfing and shared the concept with my friends. Since we were in a low budget, we decided to give a try to Couchsurfing and find a host in Brussels. The surprise was when we arrived to the address provided by our host. One man opened the door and the first thing he told us was “we don’t pay the bills”. After some days, we ended up deducing that we were going to stay in a squat that had previously been a commercial gallery… You can imagine our face and all the stories behind that experience!

Definitely, the most remarkable part of this adventure were the experiences. We got to visit and know the European Parliament with a parliamentarian from our country, we were invited to the rehearsals of our flat-mates at the basement and we shared with them great discussions on politics.

Train trip around Poland – Easter Holidays 2013:

This is for sure one of my favorite journeys from this trunk of travel memories. Taking advantage of the fact that my sister had recently moved into the small and beautiful coastal city of Gdansk, I booked a flight with a friend to visit her and, from there, explore Poland by train.

Our route started in Gdansk and took us across Warzaw. It made us tremble in Auschwitz concentration camp and finished in Krakow. With no doubt, the highlights of this trip were the sunsets from the train. Also, the beautiful city of Warzaw that made me fall in love with her from the moment I stepped one feet outside the train station.

Madrid (Spain) – Easter Holidays 2013:

With only a couple of days between trips, I found myself on another end-of-school trip to Madrid with my high school colleagues and teachers. We went to celebrate – a bit in advance – our graduation and learn more about Spanish history and art.

In those days, only few months before taking our own paths and starting university, I collected unforgettable moments with friends in both cultural visits and very crazy nights in the capital of Spain. One of the best experiences of the trip was going to El Prado Museum, which is a magnificent experience for everyone interested in art and visiting Madrid.

Granada (Spain) – January 2014:

Can there be anything better than traveling to celebrate the end of your first final exams at university? Well, my answer is yes… It’s celebrating it with friends!! And that’s exactly what we did in Granada!

For five days, we enjoyed the life in the south: sun, beer, and tapas. We also went exploring the delightful Albaicín neighborhood and visited the beautiful Alhambra palace.

Mallorca (Spain) – July 2014:

My first couple trip ever. Unforgettable for many reasons but mostly remarkable for being suuuuuper low-cost in the middle of high season, which seemed impossible until we did it! We spent the amount of 200€ per person for a full week in Mallorca.

We used multiple tips and tricks to reduce the costs to the minimum without depriving ourselves of special moments in this little paradise. From discount coupons for the flights to finding a place to stay through Couchsurfing… If you are interested in knowing how we did it, comment down below and I will write a full post on it!

If you are interested in booking through Airbnb, you can enjoy a 25€ discount on your first booking using my link. I will also receive, in exchange, a discount of 15€. Let’s help each other to continue travelling!

Loire Valley and Paris (France) – August 2014:

Another unexpected trip! In the summer of 2014, being a university student on holidays, I had a lot of time to travel but not that much money to spend on it.

After returning from Mallorca, the company MEGABUS started to operate from Barcelona and it offered really interesting promotions. For example a ticket for a bus trip from Barcelona to Limoges – close to the Loire Valley – (more than 10 hours) cost only 1,50€ so… We bought it!

Once the date was getting closer, we explored the idea of getting to Paris from Loire Valley. We checked the tickets and it was only 5€ to return from Paris to Barcelona by bus! You can imagine the happy jumps I made when we bought the ticket and my dream of visiting Paris came true.

Since we didn’t have a lot of money, we draw upon our saving cost tips. We used BlaBlaCar, stayed in AirBNB, did Couchsurfing, used cultural discounts for European under 25 years in Paris, biked and walked A LOT – which is something I would recommend for Paris!

Tunisia – January 2015:

My first time ever on the African continent and it left me craving for more! It was also my first time in a Muslim country. Especially and because of this, I found it a really interesting experience too. Personally, this journey made me grow. I learned more from another religion than mine: the Islam. For me, it was a fascinating experience because of my passion to learn from other religions/ways of understanding life.

Tunisia is a country full of beautiful scenarios, interesting culture and very kind people. Sadly, after the images that the Western mass media decided to show of the revolution of the Arabic Spring, the tourism in the country dramatically fell strongly affecting their economy.

Luckily, I could visit the country just one month before the first terrorist attacks on El Bardo Museum. So, even if I felt safe most of the time, I recommend you to check at the safety recommendations regarding Tunisia posted by your Foreign Affairs Ministry and decide if you want to visit the country at your own risk.

Our journey visiting Tunisia started at the coast, in Sousse and Monastir. I would really not recommend visiting any of those cities, which are really oriented to beach tourism. What I would DO recommend you a lot is to visit the beautiful city of Mahdia and it’s lighthouse or the historical amphitheater of El Jem.

After exploring the most coastal area, we headed south were we rented a car. The landscape was full of breathtaking sceneries – which even included some oasis and waterfalls! The trip ended in the capital and with a visit to the enchanting village of Sidi Bou Saïd.

Road-trip around the Balkans (Kosovo and Rep. of Macedonia) – September 2015:

Probably, some of the most unknown and less visited countries I have ever been and it was totally worth it! We rented a car and explored both countries for a full week.

This trip was especially interesting and enriching due to the cultural mix and the history – recent and ancient – of both countries. An adventure I would recommend for sure!

Amsterdam and Zaanse Schans (The Netherlands) – September 2015:

After winning two round-trip flights with Vueling in a travel blogger meeting in Barcelona, I chose Amsterdam from the four possible cities that Vueling offered to us. Everyone I knew seemed to love it so I thought “why not?”.

We explored the city in a weekend getaway and for a bit less than 48 hours. The truth is that despite the city is truly nice, the bad weather we had made it look quite grey. I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would and I felt a bit disappointed.

In any case, if you go to Amsterdam, make sure to find some time to dedicate to a typical village located 20 minutes away by train: Zansee Schans.

Road-trip around Alsace (France) – December 2015:

If you want to visit this region of France, I totally recommend you to do it at Christmas time. Yes, it’s full of tourists and locals but you will love it!

We explored the different Marchés du Noël in picturesque small towns like Riquewihr. It was like living a Christmas dream. Filled with medieval vibes and surrounded by the smell of hot wine, you could see the streets full of people enjoying some Christmassy time.

Whatever the case and whenever you decide to explore this area, I recommend you to rent a car. The magic of visiting this region lies on going from village to village… But, please, don’t forget to visit the Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle!

Rome (Italy) – January 2016:

Rome already stole my heart when I first visited it so, some days before Kings Day (6th of January), I booked two flights to visit Rome again. This time I traveled with my mum, who had always wanted to visit Rome and Italy.

The result was four amazing days with my mum. I showed her the best-hidden treasures of the city I knew and we discovered some more together. All of this, while enjoying the tasty and delightful Italian gastronomy.

Journey around Southeast Asia – Summer of 2016:

Literally, THE TRIP OF MY LIFE! Jumping on this journey meant a break-up with so many aspects of my life. I quitted my job and my relationship was over. I traveled for 2 full months around Southeast Asia. I fell in love with slow traveling and I became one of the most truly happy human beings on Earth!

This journey did not only take me to amazing locations like Bagan but it also made me grow and become more mature. It showed me what I wanted in life and what I did not want. I discovered the importance of being more grateful and it cured more my anxiety than any previous trip to my psychologist. Definitely, it changed my life for good and I am 100% sure that every little decision I took during those two months were the best ones I could take.

Definitely, nothing makes me feel more proud and nostalgic than remembering this amazing journey that took me to Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore.

If you are planning a trip to Myanmar, you might want to check out my travel guides.

Road-trip around Andorra (Andorra) – October 2016:

My dearest Country of the Pyrenees! After two months of pure sweating and hot temperatures in Asia, I came back home just in time to make some new amazing friends doing their Erasmus in Barcelona. With the excuse of showing them this amazing peace of heaven on Earth, we went to Andorra.

We rented a car in Barcelona and booked an apartment through Airbnb in a small village in the mountains. From there we enjoyed: driving across the mountains, lots of good and healthy food, films and good conversations while sharing some wine. A great way and place to spend some mini holidays!

Porto, Braga, and Lisbon (Portugal) – January 2017:

Since I came back from Asia, I was sure I wanted to experience the traveling solo “thing”. Although the idea also frightened me a bit, after some months, I decided to book a flight. I ended up living one of the most rewarding trips of my life!

Traveling solo is one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my life. It proved me that I could do whatever I wanted to and it gave me back the feeling of absolute freedom that I had experienced back in Asia.

For five full days, I explored (and fell completely in love with) Portugal. The beautiful city of Porto, Braga and the captivating Bom Jesús Do Monte, the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon everything on that trip was worth it.

Road-trip around North of Italy and Slovenia (Italy and Slovenia) – February 2017:

Some weeks after Portugal, I took my mum on a 4 day-trip around the north of Italy and Slovenia for her birthday.

Verona and Bergamo – in the north of Italy – were just stunning but Slovenia made us fall in love. It left me constantly thinking “Gosh, I wish we had more time to explore...”. This country is full of amazing and unreal natural landscapes and has a lot to offer and discover.

If you decide to visit Slovenia, don’t forget to visit the breathtaking Skocjan caves – one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. These caves were so amazing that reminded me of the breathtaking experience I had at the Niah caves in the Malaysian Borneo island.

Dubai and Japan – August and September 2017:

In the summer of 2017, I decided to mix some of the best travel experiences I had until that moment to create my perfect trip: I went back to Asia in a solo adventure. This time I enjoyed a full day layover in Dubai – 17 hours – and explored Japan by train for 14 days.

Without any doubt, an unforgettable – and challenging – experience where I got to meet a lot of interesting people. The highlights of the trip were definitely: climbing Mount Fuji, meeting and sharing a conversation with an atomic bomb survivor in Hiroshima and exploring the country with the spectacular Shinkansen.

Paris (France) – September 2017:

Right after Japan, I spent 4 days in Paris with my mum. We rented an apartment in the heart of Montmartre and lived as Parisians. I revisited Champs Elysée, I lost myself in my beloved Louvre Museum and enjoyed as never before the French cuisine!

Road-trip around South of France (France) – November 2017:

Only a couple of months after, I visited France again in a small road-trip adventure with my sis! We visited Montpellier, Nîmes, and Narbonne. It was an amazing weekend: full of laughs, beautiful places and delicious food (like the galette!)!

Helsinki and road-trip in Finish Lapland (Finland) – February 2018:

The calm and silence of the middle of nowhere.The breathtaking sceneries of the North Pole and the amazing experience of mushing. Really, one of the best experiences of my life!

We flew to Helsinki in a night layover. With freezing temperatures, we jumped into another flight that took me to Rovaniemi – in the Artic Circle. Then, we rented a car and explored the northern part of the country.

The only thing I can say is: I had never ever seen such beautiful landscapes in my life. Definitely, it’s a place to return! Who knows if I will end up doing some voluntary work in a husky farm?

Road-trip around the Balkans (Romania and Bulgaria) – Easter Week 2018:

I don’t really know why but when I think about exploring the Balkans I just think about road-trips! There is something magical in exploring these amazing and still unknown countries by car, without knowing what to expect next.

This adventure started in Sofia with one of my best friends and a rented car. We explored the mountains in the south, the Rila Monastery and the city of Plovdiv. We continued crossing the border with Romania and heading to Bucharest, Brasov, and Rasnov. Definitely, two countries that are really worth a visit!

Dublin and Howth (Ireland) – April 2018:

There can’t be a better excuse to travel than having one of your best friends living abroad. Some months after one of my best friends from childhood left to live in Ireland, my friends and I decided to surprise her for her birthday!

We sent her a message bomb right before getting on the airplane. We told her to wait for us at the airport some hours later! Right after our arrival and our check-in in the hostel, we headed to Temple Bar where we enjoyed soooooo much listening to some Irish live music. It felt like living in a film! I cannot think of a better way to start a trip in Ireland.

After this night, we spent 3 more days in Ireland. We explored Dublin, visited Trinity Collage and did a cliff walking trail at the coastal village of Howth… Finally, I got to try my very first fish and chips!

Milano (Italy) – May 2018:

Since sometimes I need to travel to Italy because of my work, I took the opportunity to visit a friend in Milano and also to explore a bit the city.

I fell completely in love with Vittorio Emanuele gallery, contemplated the Duomo of Milano at the sunset, explored Navigli area and tried negroni for the very first time – and maybe the last one!

Bologna (Italy) – May 2018:

Another business trip to Italy, another city explored. This time an early arrival and a flight canceled were the perfect opportunities to finally meet Bologna.

Bologna is the city of towers, despite nowadays not even a 20% of the towers ever built in the city still exist. It is calculated that around the 12/13th century, there were up to 180 towers in the city when now only around 20 of them remain.

The city also hides some absolutely delicious restaurants where you can taste traditional dishes like spaghetti alla bolognese – absolutely delicious!!!!!!!!!!! – and one of the best pizza I have ever tried.

Naples and Campania Region (Italy) – July 2018:

Finally, the day has arrived! I can finally cross off Naples from my bucket list! Some weeks after returning from Bologna, I was looking for a close weekend getaway and Naples crossed my mind!

Only 1 hour and a half away from Barcelona by airplane and a delightful sunset before landing. What else could I ask for? Landing in Napoli in time to try pizza Margherita in Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro was the cherry on the top!

I spent the following day wandering around the city, grabbing and trying the tasty food. Pasta, gelato, baba, cannoli and granita – I can feel my mouth watering just of the thought of it. In this trip, I also visited the ancient city of Pompeii and the stunning coastal village of Sorrento… A truly Italian vacay!

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